The Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Victoria and Goliad counties in Texas received a prestigious award in September 2015. Pama Hencerling received the Bill Anderson Pioneer award from the Texas Institute on Children and Youth. Hencerling was chosen due to her extensive experience with juvenile justice and her numerous contributions to the field.
This award is named for the first Texas Juvenile Probation Commission director who died in 2005. Anderson was the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Travis County for 25 years and did his best to up the quality of service that the juvenile probation officers under his direction provided. He required the officers to participate in continued education and set up a number of preventative programs.
Hencerling has followed in his footsteps by improving the quality of juvenile justice under her care. She helped design the Victoria Regional Juvenile Justice Center to go from accommodating 16 juveniles to having the capacity for up to 72. This center is the only long-term facility of its kind Texas equipped to handle pregnant juveniles.
Both Anderson and Hencerling graduated from Sam Houston State University. Hencerling started her career as an intern with the 24th judicial district community supervision corrections department in 1985 and later became an adult probation officer.
In addition to her duties as chief juvenile probation officer, Hencerling taught as an adjunct professor at Victoria College between 1986 and 1999. She also served as a Police Academy Instructor at the college’s Police Academy between 1986 and 2006.
Hencerling is no stranger to prestigious awards. The Juvenile Justice Association of Texas awarded Hencerling with the Amador R. Rodriguez Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, while The Texas Probation Association gave her the Amador Rodriguez Award for Outstanding Juvenile Probation Administrator in 2008.